Jonathan Crossley-Holland cutting the ribbon
Story: Gaby Spinks
Photos: Anwar Suliman
On the 6th December a momentous occasion occurred at Firs Hill Primary School. Jonathan Crossley-Holland, Director of Children’s and Young Peoples Directorate, opened his very first lavatory!
Headteacher Dina Martin opened the event by thanking all those involved in the planning, and announced that the OFSTED inspection received that week had some very good comments, with a couple of ‘outstandings’.
The idea for the new toilet area – a unique design for schools – came from a secondary school in Bristol that a group of staff, parents and children had visited earlier in the year.
The School Council had highlighted that the toilets and cloakrooms in the junior building were a problem area with some bullying and children messing around with water and other children’s belongings. These new facilities are based on an open plan layout with no corners or doors for children to hide behind. The cubicles are unisex with floor to ceiling doors so there can be no peeking underneath. They are also only large enough for one child to use at a time. The wash area is very space-age, with a circular sink with four sprinklers. Soap dispensers stand in the centre of the room, and lights come on automatically with a sensor.
Firs Hill Drummers entertained the crowd with a couple of pieces. The drummers are all junior children, and recently went through to the next round of the talent contest ‘The Big Drum’.
Beacon of Engagement
Mr Crossley-Holland said he was very impressed and it was no accident that parents and children helped with decision-making; the school is a beacon in its engagement with children and parents.
The party then went on to officially open the newly refurbished caretaker’s house. The building will be used for meetings and courses.